Mid-America Regional Astrophysics conference or MARAC met April 23-24.  In the past MARAC was at KU, Linda Hall Science Library or UMKC. The meeting was canceled altogether last year and was done in Zoom this year. Zoom and the “Gathering.”

The Gathering was a game like set up where you could walk around, talk to people and look at things. Once you got used to the avatar and crude graphics it was kind of cool. I was able to meet and talk astronomy with another participant. Though doing PPT on zoom is kind of odd compared to a live experience it worked well.

A screenshot of Maxim DL 5 photometry. Notice the flat comp stars and the definite curves of SS Cyg.

My talk was on the micro-variability of SS Cyg. The AAVSO was asked to help cover observations for a Japanese researcher who is trying to study the accretion disk around the white dwarf star.  Using a 4″ refractor I was able to see very definite signs of micro- variability. This has been noted elsewhere but seemed to deserve a talk on it’s own.

I did full nights of observing using a Johnson V filter. 15 second exposure with a 45 second delay. There was also about a 7 second upload and check the guide star. Started in July and went until November.

The talk was well received and caught the attention of a nearby college. I have been invited to visit their observatory and talk about their research. Looking forward to summer and more opportunities to explore the light curve of SS Cyg.

Light curve for SS Cyg taken on September 4 2020. This is a whole nights worth of observation.